The car is all ready for battle and so is the driver, as Aaron Reutzel kicks off his pursuit of the Lucas Oil ASCS National title with this weekend’s season opening points events at Cocopah Speedway near Yuma, AZ.
Healed up from a shoulder injury in Winter Challenge action at the close of January, the Clute, TX, racer is ready for his second full tour of ASCS National action aboard the Stafford Performance-powered Bob and Christie Miller’s Car Parts Machine/Danny Sanders Construction No. 87 Triple-X chassis.
“The shoulder feels good, I hardly notice it at all unless I make a real sudden, awkward movement,” Reutzel explained of the shoulder separated on January 31. While doctors said four to six weeks to heel, Reutzel has no concerns. “It’s fine now.”
A 2009 champion on the ASCS Gulf South tour, Reutzel placed tenth in his National rookie campaign in 2011 before taking in more Gulf South events over the past two years where he added eight more wins to the ledger and finished a close second in points last season.
Now, Reutzel and his ButlerBuilt/BC Fundz/Lone Star Hydro Maintenance machine is ready for a tough field of competitors at Cocopah Speedwayon Friday and Saturday.
“It can really help you or really hurt you,” Reutzel explained of the competitive field. “We started like that in 2011 and had a really good weekend in Arizona to get us going. Some other guys struggled though and really got buried.”
With ten career ASCS Gulf South wins at nine different tracks in Texas and Louisiana, Reutzel has slung the Cocopah clay on a pair of previous weekends with a pair of top tens including a seventh-place run last November.
“I love that track even though we haven’t had the greatest of results yet,” Reutzel commented of the 3/8-mile clay oval. “It’s really racy and never gets locked down, never gets one lane. Even if you have to fight for the bottom there’s still room to make two grooves out of it, so it really works pretty well for my style.”
Reutzel relishes the opportunity to kick off the ASCS campaign in his Momentum Racing Suspensions/Wrens Motorsports/Wright Way Logistics Sprint Car in Arizona.
“I think it’s good to get it started out there, it gives you a much better idea of who is committed to running it and who isn’t,” Reutzel commented.
“We’re just really looking to get off to a strong start,” Reutzel explains. “Everything is ready to go, now it’s just time to go do it.”
2014 Quick Stats: 5 races, 3 top-tens. Finished 13th in USAC Southwest vs. USAC West Coast Sprint Car Winter Challenge points despite missing the final event.
Up Next: The Lucas Oil ASCS National Tour opener at Cocopah Speedway near Yuma, AZ, this Friday and Saturday.
Keep on Track: Keep track of Aaron Reutzel’s on track-action including schedule and results at www.aaronreutzelracing.
Penning the recurring series of “The Wheatley Chronicles” articles on racinboys.com, Lonnie Wheatley provides media, public relations and more for select tracks, drivers and events. For more information, Wheatley may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
by Lonnie Wheatley